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Statement of Purpose About This Blog

Oklahoma- 2014

Oklahoma- 2014

“If you are anything like me, there are nights you cannot sleep. There are two basic pillars to my existence- A recognition of the heartbreaking beauty of the world, followed closely by an obsession with life in it’s myriad of forms. I think for me, my greatest intrigue lays in the mesh-point between the indifferent world at large, and the human subjective experience. This is where the magic occurs.” – Austin Brown¬†

The layout of this blog will consist of posts, usually daily, that will either illustrate some subjective experience I have had, or explain the value of the subjective. The rest of the entries will be the discussion of theories and philosophies in a general and accessible way. I will try to keep away from being too academic, as no one is interested in reading that shit, except for me. The point really is to challenge people to examine the reality they live in, really examine it, and ask the most difficult questions- questions we usually avoid in our day to day lives.

The “Shit to Buy” on the lower right part of the page will list books that I suggest you read as we go along. I only recommend books I feel are life changing. I won’t bullshit you about ideas, literature, or anything else which can help you along. I am very serious about self cultivation and self-actualization. I suppose that is the entire purpose of this blog. I used Amazon as an affiliate because aside from corporate evil, they DO have the best prices and biggest stock. Plus I want all my grasshoppers to feel secure in ordering things online.

Anyway, thank you for the read. Hopefully I will not let you down.

Nightwalking Along The River

I move along the Onion River late,

Walking in the dark suits me-

It is like a whispered secret,

Something personal,

Something intimate.


Near the banks and trees, bugs explode in summer noise,

Wild, symphonic joy.


In the shadows, the liquid stirs,

but with force and deliberation-

Swirls and smashes

of atoms foaming in bonded thrush

along the face of ancient jutting rock.


Moonlight testifies to this,

but in a scattered and casual way.


Time to me, and time to the river,

both flow but in ways estranged from one another-

I am only ash, temporary,

and the river?


She is serpentine and primordial,


Clawing the face of time,

carving her sides into softened stone.

Still we are of the same elements,

the same passages,

distant as old lovers.

My feet move from stone to stone to shore to stone

Eons and elements pass one another like ships

whispering the tales of times too distant to even ring an echo;

Deep Earth meets Transient Lover who wears away

at the very walls of Jericho.


And I?

I am the dancing witness,

too mortal to stay-

a wink on the shoreline,

a mere animal breath let go in the easy wind.nightwalk

On The Eve of the Last War

Kansas 2013

Kansas 2013

My father once wrote a poem on the day of the invasion of Afghanistan. He had gone to a business lunch in a bar in downtown Austin. The point of the poem was that here we were, invading another sovereign nation, and every television in the place was tuned to sports and sports shows. The war it seemed, would not touch us. It wasn’t meant to touch us. It was meant to be kept at arms-length. It was to be as convenient as possible for us Americans.

I have often thought about that poem. I have often thought about what my father would say about the state of affairs today. My father has not been gone that long. He passed away in the fall of 05. I use that as a reference point for where we are today.

In 2005 it was not known the extent to which your government monitors you. Utilizing the Focaultian panopticon, we are all now on our best behavior. Even our outrage is memed-up and consists of posting a few documentaries or news pieces in social media. The problem there is that no one listens, everyone is too busy crafting their own public narrative, their own public opinion, and displaying their own cleverness. Myself included. The idea that your smart TV, your telephone, your purchases and whereabouts are all tracked and everything you do in real or in digital is stored somewhere in the Utah desert, courtesy of the NSA- how truly appalling.

Worse still is the abuses of small-time authority; your local PD hijacking cellphone tower signals and downloading everyone’s information and GPS whereabouts. Or the license plate readers on every police vehicle which stores the whereabouts of millions of vehicles. All without oversight.

Or the idea that an officer of the law can choke a man to the point of heart failure for a misdemeanor while being filmed and be acquitted. Or the idea that any American could watch that video and feel there was justification. The minds of Americans are the talk shows of the world. No one picks their guests, and they are all fed the script. You, yes you, do not have an original opinion. Not if you are plugged into the world. You are either pro or con, this or that; depending almost solely on who you watch. You are a hollow echo of jingoism and social control. We all are to some extent. We are packaged constituents of polarity. We are demographics divided by ethnicity, locality, age, social status, and education. What appeals to you appeals to you because someone was smart enough to be able to predict what turns you on. You are a heuristic. You respond as they tell you to, and do so thinking you are participating of your own volition. You are a PR man’s bonus, and advertising execs vacation.

The idea that all a public figure has to do is spout venom at an “other”, and we all hop on board. We need that “other” like a drug. It tells us we are somehow different, better, more morally pure. We embrace xenophobia because inside we are just a generation of frightened children, unfulfilled men, and rapacious women. We are exactly what we run from. We see violence and wish for violence. We praise the vigilante. We believe the world is an awful place. We must protect what we see is right and pure and good. But what we protect, is someone else’s status quo. We believe in those forces which have stripped us of our humanity. We believe in what the conglomerates tell us. And why? Because we have allowed the few to provide us with whatever truth they choose to give us. Because we find it easier to be passive and moderately unhappy than to stand up and demand the truth.

In a time where we say racism is extinct, we micro-aggress the highest office in the land. Calling the President the most violently extreme things. Has anyone ever stopped to realize, we didn’t used to talk that way? Or think that way? Or hate the figurines of media iconography with such black passion that we must surely be consumed by it? When did we become like this?

In WWII, Korea, and even Vietnam, there was national identity. Did not even the counter-culture come together to challenge the establishment? Was there not still love and brotherhood through sacrifice. Even when we fought our own government, we did so united under humanistic kinship. In WWII we all made vast and painful sacrifices believing it was for the greater good of the world. In Korea, we saw the first glimmer of of empirical desires dashed. But were we not proud of “our boys over there?” Today, war is a movie of the week, a Youtube clip where you might get lucky and see someone really get fucked up. And isn’t that what we want to see. A “them”, a “those people”, a group of those “sick barbarians” really getting what’s coming to them. Isn’t that what we really want?

Today we barely look up from our cell phones, much less unite for anything that really counts for something. Altruism it seems, is only born from desperation these days. Not only do we not know who our neighbor is, we are highly suspicious of him. Someone out there wants to do us harm. That seems to be all we know for sure. What a way to live.

My father would have been ashamed. Even more so than he was the day the war started. Ashamed of himself, for having let the politics of his time slip by, for having mortgaged his heart and his politics to suburban consumerism and the “making end meet” jail. He would be ashamed of our politicians, as it seems no one gives one, single, fuck, about you, or me, or anyone who makes this world go round. No, you my fellow American have been excised from politics, haven’t you heard? Corporations are the new people. Money is speech. And frankly, you are just a nuisance. How best to drug you and placate you the elite ask. He would be ashamed that we got here willingly. We did not even put up a fight. We wanted the oblivion of the television world and now it is all we have. We are a sitcom with bad jokes and exaggerated emotions. We defy logic.

When Danny Pearl was taken hostage and beheaded the world was aghast that such a thing could happen in this day and age. I watched the video and it made me sick, literally. But these days, it is a back page story. Beheading isn’t sexy anymore. We are numb to it. ISIS it seems, will just have to do better. Something really good this time. C’mon, we want to really really hate someone or something. We want war, and fire, and dead brown people. We do. We want to proclaim that for all the misery and emptiness in our western hearts; that it is THE only way to be. We want to believe that we are some sort of high-water mark in the world. We want to believe what they tell us- that this is as good as it could possibly be… until the next Iphone comes out, or the next reality show, or the next series on Netflixs. We want to believe we are on the crest of some great wave of value and meaning. Only dead people in poor dirty lands can make us feel so superior. We need it.

For all the rhetoric of “personal responsibility” and “freedom to decide” for oneself; the American sure does fold like a deck of cards in the wind. What beliefs do you have that were not fed to you? Ever wonder why you know deep in your heart that you lack the courage of your convictions? Because they are not yours. It is unlikely you could ever behead someone, or walk into an office building and gun down the people there because they offended your beliefs. You are pussies. It is much easier to believe what the TV says. It is much easier to have our military handle all that mess. It is much easier to sympathize with a sniper on the silver screen than to actually do something. If anything, we Americans are the least responsible for our lives. When difficulty arises, we simply tune in to find out who to blame. Ahh, it is “those people” again. We “decide for ourselves” that they must go. We watch their corpses burn on the internet with glee.

We do this at home, and abroad. We do this with our speech, our ideologies, our credit cards, and our money. We buy irresponsibility. We don’t want to know that orange juice is cheap because of our shitty treatment of migrant workers, or that the blood of millions is in every drop of gasoline, in every cheap television, in everything we consume and then throw away. We do not want to know that we have made a mockery of mankind by pillaging those who are less cruel, less violent, less evil. We export our will, and our guilt. We listen to Kenny-G over the speakers in air conditioned and refrigerator mega-consumerist stores, and we hum along and wonder if we should try gluten free or just buy the regular brand. We drive to church, and then out for lunch, and sit around tables with our families and we feel… what? Grateful? Satisfied? Loved? What we should feel is our own hypocrisy. We should stare at it like a freshly killed and still writhing beast right there in dining room. We should listen to the gasps and agonal breathing of all that is good which we have choked out of this world.

But we don’t. We watch football instead, and talk about buying a second home, and how best to retire these days. We talk about “those people” who are the problem; whether they live down the street or across the planet. Clearly “those people” are the problem. Utopia would abound if it were not for “them”.

The one thing my father and I shared was an unflinching desire to look in the mirror. To really look. When I speak of you, I speak of me. I hold no moral high ground here. And while your mind may dismiss this “rant” as “overly negative” and disproportionately “critical”; while your mind will tell you all sorts of things about what I have written, the truth is, deep down, when there are no distractions, no talking heads, no candy crush, no facebook, no fights with your lover or your kids, when all is still and you have only yourself to bear witness to your heart- in those moments you feel it too. You feel the absurdity in which you live. You sense the danger of the insanity of it all. You know you must keep moving or you will be crushed by that knowledge. So back into the fray, the office, the politics, the rat race- off you go. Do not look back.

I will close with a statement of hope. For all the darkness in the world, for all the ignorance, for all the mobbish madness; there is still the singularity. There is still the mind, and the heart. Meaning in your life will be exactly one-part courage, and one part truth. You can be as free as you choose to be, but you must look the ugliness in the face. You must also recognize your own countenance in that beast. You heart will be as free as your willingness to assume a certain culpability. The more truth you accept, the less delusion you will suffer. This is what it means to take responsibility. This is what it means to be free. Or, on the eve of our next war, you too can sit in sublime ignorance, tuned to the spectacle of the American Mirage. Be not afraid, these shadows are merely your own.

Each Day



Each day,

where I parcel the bits and nickels,

I come across her.


Working her small pale hands,

a summoner above the deli counter conjuring the benign-

Hot coffee two creams,

egg salad sandwiches.


I thought nothing at first glance,

like anywhere,

the topography grows slowly on you,

like a song you are unsure of.

You first notices the notes,

then the beat,

the poetry of the words,

the lilting voice-

until one day,

you make the song your own.


In time,

all being is nuance,

or it dissipates into entropy.


She speaks little,

mostly in a foreign tongue from some war-torn part of the world.


I notice how her tongue presses against the teeth,

as if building the courage to speak in a second language.


Her skin is slightly poor,

though attractively pale.


She is neither exotic,

nor overwhelming.


She is understatement.


There is a pressure there,

something urgent that looks at far off horizons.


There is the smile like the zap of orange juice-

something organic,

something solar but contained and shaped,

perhaps something cosmic,

some part of the greater continuum at the higher ends of the plane.


Is she kind,

or even likeable,

I just do not know.


Is she damaged,

or dumb,

or volatile-


Does she need or even want a kind word.

At times I see her watching me,

Like two people looking at each other through a fish bowl.

I can only know that distortion is likely,

and objects are much larger than they appear.


Could we just stay here?

with the orange gravel below us,

the fake green seaweed between us,

and the imbecile yellow fish oblivious to our presence outside.







and believing?

Is there any wonder to any wonder,

or are thing-left-unsaid the sweetest.

unmet love seems the only true love.


She is an unwrapped candy,

a pulled-back spring,

a space that is perfect for something,

she is the unfinished book,

she is the movie trailer,

she is money in the bank and nowhere to be.


She is form and function,

a thing best left in place,

a sentence not finished,

a date forgotten,

and a tiny spoonful of daily remorse.


Take nothing,

leave nothing,

ghost and eyeball,

scribe and misanthrope.


I leave the way I came.

Preparing the Bed



There were no words which could speak of this still room.

Your watch on the night stand,

the bed scented of you and the sickness of those last days,

I strip the sheets,

using a little bit of edgy force,

my anger at you again,

my revolt against the slow decay,

I knock the lamp on the floor by accident,

and the tears of unbonded frustration begin anew.

Each hacking sob as if the very pleura of my innards are made of sandpaper.

I throw the pillows off the bed,

I sit in the corner and create a metaphor for you

out of broken ceramic and the dusty thin shard from the busted light bulb.

When the tears dry, the sun still moves, and the house is still empty.

The agent will be here at 5 with a buyer,

and I still need to take your suits to Goodwill.


Now that you are gone your books are all I will take.

I will sell everything as if I could auction off your memory.


Pulling the warm, clean sheets from the dryer,

I lean precariously and snatch up the broom as well,

I stagger up the stairs, hands full,

everything I need to erase you for now-

in mid-stair the burden of what I carry

is no longer Windex, no longer clean sheets and pillowcases, no longer a cheap broom,

but it is you again: bald, naked, rail thin, and hollow eyed,

you say nothing as I weep and toe the edge of each stair ascending.

I try not to look at your nude body,

you are not you but a ghost, the weight of paper and you terrify me,

my shame is unpronounceable, but you feel it.


At the top of the stairs,

lifting your claw-like hand with now-yellowed nails,

you touch my face and look directly into my eyes.

Momentarily there is clarity there.

I am the father now,

and you are the boy.


I tuck you into bed for the last time,

your vulnerability repulses me and crushes me-

you fall instantly into dreamless inky sleep,

I stroke your bald head,

watching the fine follicles now free from a lifetime of hair as they ripple under my touch.

I kiss the gentle furrowed brow,

sleep father,


What Happens With Nothing



Somewhere between the naked light across a feminine form,

and the vines gripping the wood tresses of a dead roller coaster,

I take what isn’t-

Coffee without cream,

love without commitment,

sustenance of nothingness.


At times I live only on the implied,

on the absence.


Nothing almost never means nothing-

it is what is suggested in space;

the unanswered prayers of school children

Are God’s very own psychological counseling sessions.


So when she is not sleeping near me,

when the snow takes space under the featureless grey,

when ice forms,

and blood drains-

it is the leaving,

the return,

which we want to believe contains  the weight.


I sense only the failure of the material in the material,

I take milk without coffee.

I paw at the night as I sleep-

dreaming only of inky blackness,

and the sound of my own breathing in the dark.


Since You Asked



I turn down the volume by clicks,

the madhouse beacons,

porcelain faces tell me my value on the open market,

but only in bits and pieces,

I am to surmise.


I watch the news as a hollowed out straw man whose voice is a raspy whisper. I have read all the great and dark thinkers. I have shed existential skin and found it meaningless as well, and comfortingly so. The parade of voices and suppositions, the crises which get viewers, more sad still, the stories of the dead that get no news. The social dead.


I have nothing for you but my body,

the dark,

my thoughts.


No, I do not believe what you tell me. I know now I do not have to. Your are nothing, you are a voice from a broken down box which scrubs the empty souls of your viewers. Washed clean they are filled with plastic dolls of people in little houses in towns that never existed. On your dark hours, you show me only what is wrong. I cannot swim in this dark water, it is the glue to the skull, The sticky thoughtless thought. I’d rather sit alone, and listen to my own breath.


It’s fucking cold,

and the wind knows nothing different from drop to drop.

I button my deep blue coat,

that matches the deep blue word,

that fill the gutters and the pails of the workers on the dyke.


Floods. Where are the great epics when you need one? When do we get to wash the blood from the asphalt. When do the stones in the graveyard scream through the fences like children in the cold night? There are warnings in the night and in the chilly halls and on the faces of the young, and in the swirling clouds. This is not autumn, this is a lie.


I write songs to the last one I fucked,

I held her breasts and bury my face in her,

my tongue went



We are all cold. You could hold the nation responsible, but we would rather crucify men who are only an effigy of the flesh. They wear suits and read words floating in space to the dull witted crowd who wish only to be fat and blind and meaningless. I will tell you the truth, but I will not hold you when you understand that I am serious. All of it means an end and none of it is real. No more cars or vacations or asses shaped like Kim Kardashian. I feel only the notes played on the TV clicker. One is low for exterminating the soul, the other high for the sex. Each number a hard-on for misery. Let me see your life, lets me see your life, let me see your tiny boxed life. And everyone wonders why the are mad.


Tick tick ticker,

the fat get sicker,

Washington loses face in the Asian markets,

and I want to desperately believe it is them


it is THEM

of course,

for the bible tells me so,

or at least, the bible channel does.

Wheaties tells me so,

Black Stars Beating Women tells me so.

“A land of eunichs is needed!” The bitter mouths of angry vaginas tell me so.






Where are the greats? Who will speak for this generation, who the fuck are these people? I know their faces, know them intimately, I know the lines. But they are hollowed out, spoon fed their meanings, given illogical programs upon which to run their faulty buggy minds. Why did we give up? Why did we let it slide. I was in the bottle those years and then it was all over. Someone lent them a story at 3.12% on 30 years and they bought it.







Disregarding the Story

North Texas- 2014

North Texas- 2014

For me, the bitter cold can rage, and the antiquated story lines will be done and done again. So in the grey stark winter, I turn not to things which will stabilize my mood or my psyche, but rather, I turn to that which has no meaning, that which is empty, that which destabilizes my soul.

I seek out the haunted abandoned places in pictures, on foot, in my free time. I do not do this because I seek beauty. Over the last year I have spent much time examining my motives for my attraction to such places. I cannot draw any specific meaning from my motives per se. I know mainly that I am compelled by the void. Both the larger void of non-being, but also of the smaller voids in the world. Thin places where meaning left with a whisper and even ghosts become mute as to their own purpose.

I am fascinated by the unsaid. As a word-man, I am never at a loss for those little syllabled packets of value and implication. So it would be congruent that the loss of words, the abandonment of meaning, and the hollow whisper of the unsaid and long dead memories would haunt me even in my waking moments.

My soul tells me there is a story in everything. My mind asks if this is true; perhaps true isn’t the right word- I want to know if it is necessary for everything to contain a story. Do all graves contain bones? Or is there a place in time where the name becomes eroded on the tombstone, and the dust of bones is infused only with the dust of earth? Of course that moment comes, but when it does, do all stories and whispers die? Does the narrative end?

Ruins, abandoned places, broken backs of falling down structures- all of these things were once imperative to the people who created them, lived with and within them, whole lives passed beneath the boughs of steel, timber, and stone placed deliberate by hands which give purpose. So like the human soul, crafted with exactitude, given kinetic meaning; the facilitation of the living place.

Like the lives that have gone eons before- no names remain, only the collective edifice and the surety of our own days held fast by mortal pins driven deep into the mother from whence they came. Bolts, joints, doors unhinged, glass both clear and muddied, all things speed toward entropy in silence and in no other state. All meaning is spun off in the fugue of years.

And so this year, I step back a little and shrug. Maybe I do not need to know the stories this year. Maybe bones and bare boards can un-speak for themselves. Maybe my need to assign meaning is so far outside of the cosmic flow of entropy as to render my feeble stories in the dark like whispers in the wind. We shall see. Winter can be cruel, but not altogether uninviting.


unlike any other-

But it only offers gracious contrast.
This dead city yawns around us,
with streets open like pilfered graves.

The rain has made your violent
and crimson hair
on spider legs,
delicately flowing like the laughter
of poor children in wretched streets-
the perfect curls
sliding along the pale edges of your ivory face;
and a smile like violin notes during summer storms.

I don’t mind standing in the puddles,
I don’t mind the walking dead.

I feel you:
opening like lilies in misty May-

Lips as final as Hyacinth.

Edges of the Dark

She struck me like the fractured edge of stone,
Smooth dark depth of obsidian;
In my corner I spun the webs,
and drained the bodies.

I walk the sharpened edge of the chisel.

There was no stilted walk,
to get away-
to scatter into dark corners.

You are my secret.
I am the bones afire in the night tide,
and outside your broken windows,
I sing the most hollow of songs.

Mother Autumn


I lean into autumn,

her hands brush my cheeks, raking her nails lightly across my face,

there is a tinge of brutality to her,

her anger at winter,

she seems to hold me responsible.


Skipping the curb on First street,

there is a dog with a sweater

walking her pinch faced owner

who wears loneliness like a birthmark on her face-

rage and shame to all who expose her.


There is neon further up,

the scent of fire and moss,

the withdrawing fuse has angered the afternoon.

the leaves fall like dead soldiers,

the clouds retreat and protest,

the sun, though slanted at the late hour,

is given carte blanche,

at least for now.


Winter will wipe it all away like a flooded stream-

the orange fire,

the red nuance,

the yellow protest,

and the slowly dying sunlight.


But as I walk, I know Autumn,

She gave birth to me,

I am her balanced child.

She will not give in yet,

she will only bend.

Six weeks until Samhain,

Mother Autumn and I are safe for now,

intertwined as I walk the streets she decorates,

she dresses me in scarves but no heavy jacket,

“Do not be too eager” she says,

the old man will be here soon enough.